24 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/25/2012
SOUTH KOREA - VATICAN
A good movie: John and Rugalda, Korean Martyrs and virgin spouses
by Bernardo Cervellera
The winning story of two young Koreans of the eighteenth-nineteenth century who loved each other virginally and supported each other until martyrdom. Director Kim Suhyeong: It is a thanksgiving to God for the faith given to Koreans. Today there are Korean missionaries in many countries around the world.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Korean Embassy to the Holy See has made a nice gift to the Italian Catholic community: it has organized the screening of a film about a pair of Korean martyrs, John and Rugalda, who both suffered martyrdom in the early 1800s. The film has a meditative and dramatic pace, with moments of high poetry and high-level photography. The screening took place in Pius X hall, on via della Conciliazione, but the film will also be shown on the Catholic channel TV2000 tonight, June 25, at 9:20 p.m. The work is produced in Korea by the PBC (Pyeonghwa Broadcasting Corporation), linked to the Korean Bishops' Conference.

The Italian title ("Giovanni e Rugalda, due sposi vergini" - "John and Rugalda, two virgin spouses"), doesn't do justice to the work. The theme is not the Church's teaching on premarital sex, but the story of two real people who lived their faith and their vocation to the point of martyrdom. The film proves, if proof were needed, that the Christian tradition and the stories of the martyrs have no end of material to fill entire TV series, without inventing characters who often risk banality.

Focusing on the tastes and traditions of the time (the XVIII - XIX centuries), the film tells the story of John Yu Jung-cheol, 19, and Rugalda Yi Sun-I, 16. Both come from noble and wealthy Christian families; both, after baptism, decide to consecrate themselves to the Lord. But the environment shaped by the Confucian tradition did not allow young people from wealthy families not to marry and have children. So the first foreign priest (Chinese), who raised them in the faith, in agreement with the parents, has them enact a marriage ceremony, while maintaining the covenant to live "as brother and sister."

In a clean but dramatic manner, the work shows the derision that surrounds them, as well as the their travail in the "temptations" (documented also by the letters left by Rugalda). But it is especially in the story of their martyrdom that the film reaches its high points. In 1801 John's family is arrested and sentenced to death. John's father, Augustine, among the early converts in Korea, is quartered in the public square. John and Rugalda, arrested at different times, manage to send each other messages, sustaining each other through their torture and suffering, in the hope of "seeing each other in Paradise."

It should be noted that the two, along with other Korean martyrs, are awaiting approval for their beatification from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Director Kim Suhyeong, present at the screening, told AsiaNews that his work is inspired by the movie "The Mission" by Roland Joffé, set in Latin America. It is meant to be a thanksgiving to God for the gift of faith to Korea, born 200 years ago, without the presence of any missionary. Another thanks is for the growth of Christianity in a hostile environment. "This couple depicted in the movie", he said, "are two out of thousands of faithful who have given their lives". And the third thanks is for the Korean Church: "Now", he concluded, "we have grown to the point of sending missionaries to many other countries around the world. All this faith was born and developed from the testimony of the Korean martyrs."

For more information on John Yu and Rugalda Yi, see.: Various Authors, Sposi e Santi, Dieci profili di santità coniugale, Cantagalli, 2012.

 

 

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
02/08/2014 VATICAN - SOUTH KOREA
124 New Korean martyrs will be beatified. Perhaps by the Pope
10/15/2012 SOUTH KOREA
A new sanctuary for the Korean martyrs, "founders of the country"
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
09/10/2007 SOUTH KOREA
Church wants greater laity involvement in evangelisation
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
10/01/2013 SOUTH KOREA
Columba Kang, the catechist of Korean martyrs
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
06/27/2012 SOUTH KOREA
Seoul, the new archbishop is installed: "Everyone help me to carry out my mission"
by Joseph Yun Li-sun

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.